Apart from the main 3. d4, transposing to the Line 071, there are also two other plans that players of White frequently employ: one is the kingside fianchetto with 3. g3, and the other is 3. e3, followed by Nc3, b2-b3 and Bb2.
The first plan allows Black to transpose to the Reti Opening with 3… Nf6, though he can also accept the offer and capture the pawn with 3… dxc4. After 3… dxc4 4. Bg2 Nd7 5. O-O White has sufficient compensation for the sacrificed pawn, which usually leads to its recapture. In the meantime, Black should develop his pieces, which should lead to approximately even chances.
Against the alternative 3. e3 Nf6 4. Nc3, depending on whether Black wants to play the Semi-Slav, Slav Defense or the Schlechter Variation, he typically opts for one of the following moves: 4… e6, 4… a6, 4… Bg4 or 4… g6. White most often responds with b2-b3 and Bb2, which often eventually transposes to the main lines with d2-d4.
[Diagram: White to Move] White’s dark-squared Bishop and Rook on d1 are prepared for active roles, so how can White cash in his chips?
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